Final, Pre-Nominations, 2012 Oscar Predictions

2012 Oscar nomination predictions
Photo: AMPAS

It’s that time, I just finished watching the last film from 2011 I had time to watch before offering up my final 2012 Oscar predictions and I’m glad I did as it is now among my nominees whereas before it wasn’t.

Tomorrow the 2012 Oscar nominations will be announced and many questions will be answered while new ones will sprout up. Most categories have their clear front-runners, but down near the bottom of each list the potential nominees became a bit hazy not to mention the technical categories where damn near anything can happen.

For Best Picture I batted around several possibilities after I got beyond the six films I feel are absolute locks and the idea of just how many films will the Academy end up nominating? This year there can be anywhere from five to ten nominees for Best Picture and we won’t know how many there are until tomorrow’s announcement. I’ve decided to go with eight. I’m 100% confident in my first six, but after that it’s anyone’s guess.

At the bottom of page two of this post I have included the total number of wins I am currently predicting for each movie as well as the number of total nominations I’m predicting per film. Should my list be 100% accurate (it’s not) it would mean Martin Scoresese’s Hugo would be the lead nomination getter with 14 followed close by The Artist with ten. As for total wins, The Artist has the edge over Hugo by one with four, but that all depends on just how accurate my predictions are.

I have included my predictions for 21 of the 23 categories that will be announced tomorrow, leaving out only the shorts categories as I have not seen enough of them to make a prediction. I have included a few thoughts for several of the categories below as well as a link to my full breakdown of contenders and rankings for each category.

I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments where you think I may be wrong and how you think the Academy will decide. So have at it and I’ll see you back here tomorrow morning, bright and early at 5:30 AM PST with the 2012 Oscar nominations.

P.S. That last film I watched was the animated feature Wrinkles, which is devastating, but absolutely one of the best animated films I saw from 2011 and perhaps the best.

Best Picture (click here for full field and rankings)

  1. The Artist (dir. Michel Hazanavicius)
  2. The Descendants (dir. Alexander Payne)
  3. The Help (dir. Tate Taylor)
  4. Hugo (dir. Martin Scorsese)
  5. Midnight in Paris (dir. Woody Allen)
  6. Moneyball (dir. Bennett Miller)
  7. War Horse (dir. Steven Spielberg)
  8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (dir. David Fincher)

NOTES: As I said in the introduction, numbers 1-6 I am confident will be nominated and it very easily could end there. As for films outside of my nomination list above, the only film I believe stands a chance to be included that isn’t listed above is The Tree of Life.

Best Actor (click here for full field and rankings)

  1. George Clooney (The Descendants)
  2. Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
  3. Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
  4. Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
  5. Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar)

NOTES: I’m happy to see a lot of my peers predicting Michael Fassbender for Shame, but I see a lot of them doing it by replacing Gary Oldman who has never been nominated for an Oscar. Neither has Fassbender, of course, but I just see the NC-17 rating for Shame and a potential to get Oldman a nomination at this stage in his career as reason enough to place Oldman above Fassbender.

Best Actress (click here for full field and rankings)

  1. Viola Davis (The Help)
  2. Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
  3. Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)
  4. Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
  5. Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs)

NOTES: The #1 outlier here is Rooney Mara for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Charlize Theron (Young Adult) and Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) are also possibilities.

Best Supporting Actor (click here for full field and rankings)

  1. Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
  2. Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn)
  3. Albert Brooks (Drive)
  4. Nick Nolte (Warrior)
  5. Jonah Hill (Moneyball)

NOTES: I bumped Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) at the last minute for Jonah Hill and I’m not too distressed in the decision though I am beginning to wonder if Ben Kingsley (Hugo) may surprise us all and who would he replace? Nolte? Hill?

Best Supporting Actress (click here for full field and rankings)

  1. Octavia Spencer (The Help)
  2. Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)
  3. Bérénice Bejo (The Artist)
  4. Jessica Chastain (The Help)
  5. Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)

NOTES: Bridesmaids came on strong at the end of the year and I think McCarthy is going to get in there even though it was really hard to bump Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) from the list.

Best Director (click here for full field and rankings)

  1. Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
  2. Martin Scorsese (Hugo)
  3. Alexander Payne (The Descendants)
  4. Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
  5. David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

NOTES: My, my how War Horse has fallen as I couldn’t even bring myself to include Steven Spielberg in my list of Best Director nominees though he remains my first runner up with the likes of Bennett Miller (Moneyball), Tate Taylor (The Help) and Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life). This is a category that could very easily offer a surprise that wouldn’t necessarily be too surprising… that is, outside of Taylor getting a nom.

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